"Challenge your resistance or resist your challenge."
"You become a part of your own excitement when you recognize that you living your life is you being revealed to you."
Gregge Tiffen [The Great Pumpkin: Was Charlie Brown Right? – October, 2007]
As often happens I didn’t start this post with the idea of busting a meme, yet in a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) during our morning walk, I saw that indeed I am challenging the conventional wisdom which says that ‘challenging resistance means doing what it is I/you are resisting’. Au contraire.
Challenging resistance doesn’t necessarily mean doing something I’m having a reaction to, avoiding, or wanting to run away from. Rather, it means recognizing my reaction as resistance. That requires being aware of and willing to name what I’m experiencing as resistance, followed by questioning to discover the source of that resistance and what gift it has to offer.
Resistance has crossed my path several in several experiences recently. First was the idea that when I declare that I ‘don’t know’ or don’t have access to the information that would guide me to know, I’m resisting. That’s an idea that I’m still working on.
Then, in a course that I signed up for mostly to earn credits toward renewing my coaching credential next year, although I was intrigued by and thought I ‘should’ (ugh!) do it, I noticed I was reacting to being taught. ‘I already know this’. This doesn’t apply to me, because I’m (blah, blah, blah). Without an intention to learn, I quickly moved to what I might call arrogant boredom. I grumbled my way through the first two lessons, not taking time to be aware that I was resisting and to reflect on that awareness.
I also found myself reacting to a post from someone I follow on social media. As she pontificated on being beyond about how she’d grown and others who hadn’t (blah, blah, blah), I was turned off, tuned out, and I felt made wrong. More ugh! And with those ‘ughs’, I noticed opportunity to explore and reflect.
Enter reading the booklet that’s the source of this week’s quotes. I paused, took a breath, named and owned my resistance. As I opened, I allowed the resistance to inform me and to guide me to choose again. In one situation, I’m in the process of shifting my resistance to curiosity and exploring how to incorporate the content on my terms. In the other, I’m simply letting go, declaring that there’s no right/wrong, good/bad, rather understanding that my beliefs are not aligned with the ideas being put forth.
Through recognizing and owning my resistance, I gained new insight into me and discovered the gift of challenging resistance: new knowledge; knowledge that is both useful in the moment and becomes wisdom to carry forward on my sojourn – in this life and beyond.